The distribution system transports steam from the boiler to the various end-uses. Although distribution systems may appear to be passive, in reality, these systems regulate the delivery of steam and respond to changing temperatures and pressure requirements. Consequently, proper performance of the distribution system requires careful design practices and effective maintenance. The piping should be properly sized, supported, insulated, and configured with adequate flexibility. Pressure-regulating devices such as pressure-reducing valves and backpressure turbines should be configured to provide a proper steam balance among the different steam headers. Additionally, the distribution system should be configured to allow adequate condensate drainage, which requires adequate drip leg capacity and proper steam trap selection.
Maintenance of the system is important, especially:
●to ensure that traps operate correctly (see Section 3.2.12)
●that insulation is installed and maintained (see Section 3.2.11)
●that leaks are detected and dealt with systematically by planned maintenance. This is assisted by leaks being reported by operators and dealt with promptly. Leaks include air leaks on the suction side of pumps
●checking for and eliminating unused steam lines.
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All steam systems. Adequate sizing of pipework, minimising the number of tight bends, etc. can best be dealt with at the design and installation stages (including significant repairs, changes and upgrading).
●proper sizing at the design stage has a good payback within the lifetime of the system
●maintenance measures (such as minimising leaks) also exhibit rapid payback.
Energy Efficiency (2009) 3.2.10